After all the response on my 10.000 sales blog, i decided to write down some tips of the trade, many things you already know, but its always good to emphasize, things I learned from my experience here, some you may know, but has long forgotten, some you may dont know, even better:
- mind your acceptance ratio, this can seriously compromise your long term goals, I did loose a lot of time because of that, you loose it because you upload a lot and few are accepted and you loose it because after a while DT wont let you upload much.
- be an active member of this community, I am pretty sure this helped and keep helping me a lot, I disagree with many people opinions sometimes, and the other way around, but eventually we learn stuff from each other and this helps me being a better stock photographer,
- be polite and respect others, you cant expect others to be helpful with you, and this includes DT staff, by being rude and crude in your comments in the forums,
- be an active member in other communities, DT community can help you a lot in microstock business related subjects, but its simply not as responsive for some subjects, specially technical ones, I used to be active in dpreview, they helped me perfect my gear and my technique, I learned about difraction with them, now I am investing in Google+, they are helping me a better photographer, a girl already gave me a tip on Photoshop CS6 that just changed my way of doing HDR photography, and it really does make a diference,
- be yourself, learn from others, but keep doing what you think is right, dont copycat, you will never be as good as the guy you are copying, but he can never be as good as you are if you do what you are good at. Besides that, you diferentiate yourself from the others and buyers will look for your work
- variety is good, but not that much. Yes, if you add variety to your portfolio you will address a larger market, but you have to understand in what you are good at and what is not your thing, if you are afraid of dogs, dont try taking dog pictures, if you dont like radical sports, dont try taking pictures skydiving, if you dont have much patience and is not into details, forget about macro and studio photography. You can add variety within the themes you like, but still focused, buyers will eventually catch what kind of images you have in your portfolio and look for them. There is a travel magazine here in Brazil in which I normally find one or two of my images, every month! They are buying them here at DT, eventually they buy images from some others, but for sure most are from me, I am positive they are looking first at my portfolio, because they know I have a good chance to have what they are looking for, if they dont find it, than they look for the others.
- experiment, this might look contradicting with what I said before, but its not, always look at photographic oportunities and try new things, rent a diferent lens, try a new software, new lights, filter gels, do a photowalk, have fun, you will eventually go back to your standard way of taking pictures, but you will learn new things and apply them to your photography adding variety almost instinctively.
Well, I hope this helps, thats my way of saying thank you guys for all the support I have been receiving through this last 6 years.
PS: This blog was made entirely with images from other fellow photographers here at DT.
Photo credits: Feverpitched, Alain Lacroix, Stefan Dahl, Nmedia, Pavel Ignatov, Sukmaraga, Waxart, Paulus Rusyanto.